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REVIEW | If you're going to buy a Mercedes-Benz, the new C-Class is a good option

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2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Charlen Raymond

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a lot going for it and will always remain popular for a defined market. News24 Motoring contributor Imraan Buccus shares his thoughts on this timeless sedan.


The new C-Class is a leader in the Mercedes stable, with more than 2.5 million units sold since its introduction in 2014. One would be forgiven for immediately thinking of the luxurious S-Class when you see the new iteration of the C-Class -it does resemble the older brother aesthetically, technologically and in terms of the interior.

Despite the new obsession with SUVs, die-hard C-Class fans remain loyal, and SA occupies a key position in assembling models for the global market. Fans have generally been glad to see a longer and broader sedan than the previous iteration. With a longer wheelbase, this new C-Class will undoubtedly be more spacious on the inside.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

A closer look at the interior 

Much of the interior also resembles the S-Class. It has a large 11.9-inch portrait touchscreen and is, not surprisingly, very user-friendly. Other elements that stand out include the unique air vents and the stitched dashboard. The voice assistant is superb -this is Merc's answer to Siri. The interior exudes luxurious sophistication and has the comfort one expects from a German car of this stature.

Bar some plastic that mars the interior; it is more or less what one would expect from a Mercedes-Benz. The sheer sophistication with its high-tech gadgets and frills certainly screams 'I'm a cut above the rest'.

The extent to which elements of the S Class permeate the C Class is conspicuous. The design elements add to its significant presence and make it ideal for the young entrepreneur and the seasoned executive alike. It will, no doubt, turn heads.  

This is not a German sedan with a cheap look - well, one wouldn't expect that in a car costing as much as the C Class does.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

What is handling like?

Comfort wins here, as expected. Driving on the N3 as one leaves Durban, you really appreciate the smooth and capable ride, along with a distinctly silent and intact cabin. The road holding is noticeably impressive, despite our increasingly potholed roads. 

Performance and economy don't always go together, but both can be achieved with the C Class. Refinement, class, and its luxuriously comfortable ride are similar to the S-Class. And one appreciates the silence when on that important call on your hands-free connectivity. Sure, many cars are much more fun to drive but don't expect the same level of refinement that you'd get from a German car like this.

Engines Performance and efficiency 

The C220d is popular and not surprising because of its fuel efficiency. It has a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing 147kW/440Nm and is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. When overtaking, the car unleashes a burst of power accumulated from the coasting bits, with any signs of turbo lag disappearing. 

There are multiple iterations to choose from -in the diesel version, there are the C220d and C300d diesel options and the C200 and C300 petrol models. The C300 petrol and diesel options have 2.0-litre engines, while the C200 makes do with a 1.5-litre unit. 

Much positivity has been recorded regarding the diesel motor's performance, efficiency and refinement. The C220d records an impressive consumption of 5.5 litres/100km. This means on a full tank of 66 litres, you could get from Durban to Johannesburg and almost back - you may need another 10 litres or so for the remaining mileage. 

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Rivals?

With the not-so-surprising popularity of SUVs, the days of motorists looking for a German sedan may well be over. But the numbers seem to suggest that the C-Class has loyal fans and stands its ground against its main rival - the BMW 3 Series and, to a lesser extent, the Audi A4. Despite the A4's refinement and luxury, it has generally been less popular than the BMW and the Merc in its class. There may well be other options like the Jaguar XE and the Lexus IS, but the South African luxury sedan market has become synonymous with the BMW 3 Series and the C-Class, and this new version could certainly turn the tables in Merc's favour - in a resounding way. 

Cost and other facts 

Prices may be a little higher than some of the competition, but you need to fork out for superior quality and design. The C220d remains very popular. Here are some key facts:

Model: Mercedes-Benz C220d AMG Line
Price: from R957 200 
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Power/Torque: 147kW/440Nm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Fuel consumption: 4.6 litres/100km (claimed)
Acceleration: 0-100k in 7.3 seconds (claimed)
Luggage capacity: 455 litres 


The Mercedes-Benz C-Class range starts from R957 200 for the C200 Avantgarde, and the C220d AMG sells at R1 026 450. The price includes a 2-year or unlimited-kilometre warranty and a 5-year or 100 000km maintenance plan.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Conclusion

It's clear that the world is moving in the direction of SUVs, and the state of South Africa's roads adds another reason for the ever-increasing popularity of SUVs. But it is also clear that the C-Class will remain popular for a defined market segment. It faces tough competition, especially from BMW and Audi, but it seems to hold the upper hand – in all aspects. 

Considering that the average C-Class purchaser is not looking for high-speed performance, the engines are nonetheless efficient and worthy. It might be pricy, but this is the German sedan to get in this segment, or if you really want to purchase a vehicle from the Three-Starred automaker.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.


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